Sam Darnold Trade Rumors: Jets 'Haven’t Aggressively Tried to Move' QB

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVApril 5, 2021

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 3, 2021: Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets looks to pass in the first half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on January 3, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

The New York Jets reportedly "haven’t aggressively tried to move" quarterback Sam Darnold ahead of the 2021 NFL draft. 

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported Jets general manager Joe Douglas has wanted to be patient in the process as he gathers information about Zach Wilson, Justin Fields and Trey Lance. However, Breer also noted that the Jets' patience has come in part because no team has been willing to meet their asking price.

The Jets are widely expected to select Wilson with the second pick in this month's draft.

Darnold has been one of the NFL's worst quarterbacks since being taken with the fifth overall pick in the 2018 draft. The USC product has failed to finish better than 30th in Football Outsiders' metrics in any of his first three seasons, and only Carson Wentz ranked worse in DYAR in 2020.

Jets management bears some of the responsibility in Darnold's struggles, particularly with their coaching and roster choices. Adam Gase was perhaps the NFL's worst coach over the last two seasons before being fired after the 2020 campaign, and the Jets have not produced an offensive Pro Bowler during Darnold's career.

Kimberley A. Martin of ESPN reported two general managers said they would be willing to give up a third-round pick to trade for Darnold. While that may be a fair price, some within the Jets building still likely view him as a prospect who can be saved with some competent management and coaching. Darnold doesn't turn 24 until June; he's a full seven months younger than Joe Burrow, last year's No. 1 overall pick.

Even if Darnold improves elsewhere, his new team won't have much time to decide if he's a long-term option. The Jets or Darnold's next team will have to decide whether they will exercise his $18.9 million fifth-year option this offseason. It seems almost certain that they will decline, giving Darnold just a one-year window in his new city.